Thought for the Day

Featuring realizations and selected correspondence of
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

On the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Prabhu has dedicated his life for the most urgent work of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. The more that Krishna consciousness spreads, the more that the suffering, scarcity, and hate on this planet will be replaced with bliss, abundance and love. This is a golden opportunity for us to do the highest good for all living beings and receive the special blessings of the Lord. Therefore we should, as much as possible, sacrifice our time, energy, and resources to assist Sankarshan Prabhu in his most important work. If you would like to help out to any extent, little or big, kindly inform Sankarshan Prabhu of your desire.

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Sunday 30 November 2008

en route to Vrindavan, India
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Today's Thought:

Winning the War on Terrorism

As I write these words we are flying from Hong Kong to Delhi, India. This means that in a few hours we will be landing in that country which has just undergone a series of brutal terrorist attacks in which over 100 people were murdered. Such horrific tragedies are a stark reminder of how dangerous indeed this material world is. Once when my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, was asked about terrorism he said that in a world where everyone is like an animal it is natural that some of the "animals" will be ferocious. This profound statement from Srila Prabhupada indicates that the only tangible solution for the terrorism scourge is to elevate the entire society beyond the animal platform to the platform of pure love of God. As long as men remain like animals by engrossment in eating, sleeping, mating, and defending it is inevitable that some of them will come out as terrorists. So if we want true lasting peace we must popularize the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where Were You Born?

Although I know that your only religion is to serve Lord Krishna, still I eagerly would like to ask you whether by birth you are a Hindu or a Christian. I get confused because you are living in the USA. So please clarify where you were born exactly.

Amit Gupta

Delhi, India

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Answer: When Are You Going to be Born?

We get our first birth from our mother and father. But that birth is not very significant because without second birth we remain on the animal platform of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. What is really important is our second birth, which we get from the spiritual master and the Vedas. The Vedas are our mother, and the spiritual master is our father. So I was born in Austin, Texas on 12 August 1971 when my spiritual master, Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, accepted me as his disciple.

Although in my previous life I was baptized as a Christian, I never felt that I was solidly connected with God and Lord Jesus Christ until I fully surrendered myself at the lotus feet of my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. By fully surrendering my entire life to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna I immediately became a perfect Christian, a perfect Hindu, a perfect Jew, a perfect Muslim, etc because surrender to Krishna is the highest perfection of spiritual life.

So now I am wondering when you are going to surrender? What are you waiting for?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 29 November 2008

from Hong Kong, China
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Today's Thought:

Life is Short. Go For the Lifeboat.

Life is very short, especially in the Kali yuga. Even though we are supposed to live to be 100, hardly anyone makes it that far these days. You never know when you are going to meet with calamitous death from disease, a stroke or a heart attack, an automobile accident, a terrorist attack, or from any other of a myriad of other possible means of untimely death. Therefore, since life is very short we should try to squeeze as much Krishna bhakti as possible into each and every 24 hour period to maximize our chances of remembering Krishna at the time of death thus enabling ourselves to go back to home, back to Godhead never to take birth again in this miserable world.

Some foolish people criticize us for being pessimistic. If you are on a sinking ship, is it  better to know that you are sinking so you can abandon the ship and get into a lifeboat? Or is it better to ignore the fact that you are sinking and go on naively trying to enjoy yourself on the ship? Is the person who chooses the lifeboat a pessimist, or is he an optimist?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Develop Humility?


What is the best definition of humility and how does one develop it? I really desire to be more humble, but sometimes it gets difficult and false ego gets in the way. Please bless me to become more humble.

Thank you,
Hare Krishna

Daniel


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Answer: Serve Guru and Vaisnavas

Humility means to consider oneself to be lower than the straw in the street and to offer all respect to others without expecting any respect for oneself. Humility is the most wonderful quality to develop because in that state of mind one is able to chant the holy names of the Lord constantly deriving ever-increasing pleasure from such chanting.

The way to become humble is to always go out of your way to render service to Guru and Vaisnavas.

Please accept my blessings that you may become perfect in humility.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 28 November 2008

from ISKCON, Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Krishna Will Send You a Guru

Understanding that making the human life a success requires the expert guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, many of our readers request us to give them guidance on how to find a guru. Since this question has been perfectly answered by Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami and Srila Prabhupada in the Caitanya Caritamrita, for your edification here is their answer:

jīve sākṣāt nāhi tāte guru caittya rūpe
śikṣā-guru haya kṛṣṇa-mahānta-svarūpe


"Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the
Supersoul,
He appears before us as a liberated devotee.
Such a spiritual master is none other than Krishna Himself."

--Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.58


Purport by Srila Prabhupada--"It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krishna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krishna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity."

So all we have to do is sincerely and seriously engage ourselves in devotional service. As soon as we do this Krishna will send us a spiritual master. I have personal experience of this, and you will too simply by sincerely engaging yourself in devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If You Take Someone As Disciple...

If you were to take someone as a disciple - to be their guru (teacher-guide):

1.) What qualifications would you require from that person?
2.) What would be the first thing you would want that person to do?
3.) What is your goal for that disciple?

Your eternal and grateful servant.

Buddy Gastineau

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Answer: Duties of a Disciple

The qualifications of someone becoming my disciple is that they must chant at least 16 rounds a day of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads and they must strictly abide by the following four regulative principles:

1. No illicit sex
2. No meat eating
3. No intoxication
4. No gambling

The first thing that my disciple must do is realize that he is not his body, that he is instead a spirit-soul, the eternal servant of Lord Sri Krishna.

My goal for my disciples is that each and every one of them must go back to home, back to Godhead at the end of their present life in this material world. I also request that they fully dedicate their lives for sharing the supreme benediction of Krishna consciousness with the suffering souls of this world who are caught up in the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 27 November 2008

from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

Writing in the Middle of the Night

It is the middle of the night. We are currently crossing the Atlantic ocean on a flight from the USA to Amsterdam. Around me on the airplane practically everyone is sleeping. It is a very good opportunity for peacefully engaging in the most sublime of all activities, writing Krishna conscious literature. Although there is no comparing of me with my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, I am reminded that this is the time that he used to use for writing his books without disturbance. After two hours of rest he would rise every morning at midnight and spend the night writing his books. In this way even while circling the globe thirteen times in twelve years, constantly lecturing and explaining the science of bhakti to his disciples and so many others, managing over 100 centers, and writing thousands and thousands of letters to guide his disciples and others on the path of bhakti--he was still able to astound scholars all over the world by writing so many volumes of books.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: I Do Not Understand One Religion


Dear Gurudeva,

I have not understood yet the concept of one religion to the whole humanity. I see every path as a separate religion. In the 50 mails that we have conducted we have not discussed this much, but I have understand today much more than I understood in the past. Although I have my realizations too, hopefully in future I will understand more expertly.

Indu

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Answer: Realize that You Have No Realization

The biggest block you are facing in spiritual realization is thinking that you already know something. It is only when you realize that you don't know anything that the Vedic wisdom will penetrate all the coverings in your heart and everything will be revealed to you just like the sun lights up everything in the daytime. If you continue thinking that you already know something, although I may write you 5 million emails, you will remain in the darkness.

Please try to understand the simply truth that there is only one sun in the sky, although it is called many different names in many different languages. Similarly, there is only one God, although He is addressed by many different names in many different languages.

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 26 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Don't Accept Counterfeit Happiness

It is stated in the Vedic wisdom:
Anandamayo 'bhyasat

"The Absolute Truth by nature is anandamaya, always jubilant."
(Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12)

Just as a drop of ocean water is qualitatively one with the ocean, since we are part and parcel of the Absolute Truth our nature is also to be blissful at every moment. Because we are thus naturally constituted to be blissful and because at the same time we are currently trapped in a world which is miserable, we concoct in our minds the idea that we are happy. In this connection one novelist aptly titled his work, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me." The idea of being stuck in a world of misery is completely unacceptable to the living being. Therefore he must imagine himself to be happy, much like the proverbial ostrich who sticks his head in the sand and thus imagines that he is protected from the predator who is coming to kill him.

But why should we settle for such inferior imagined happiness? Would we be willing to accept counterfeit money in lieu of genuine money? No, of course not. So why should we accept counterfeit happiness when we can get real happiness by reawakening the dormant enlightened consciousness which is right there within our hearts at this very minute? This is real intelligence. This is called Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Life in the Spiritual World

My question to you today:
Is life in spiritual world absolutely pure?

What I want to know is:
Does the spiritual world have the same level of purity that we used to feel when we were small children when there was no impurities in our hearts?

I know that it is certainly more than that, but I am asking this question so that I can get a small picture of that life while I am still here in this present material condition.

Yours Devotedly,
Avinash

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Answer: Completely Free from Karmic Residue

The same innocence and joy experienced by a small child in this world is experienced millions of times more in the spiritual world. A child in this material world, although very pure, still carries a degree from karmic residue from sinful activities committed in previous lifetimes, whereas the devotees in the spiritual world are 100% free from even the slightest tinges of karmic residue.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 25 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Much Ado About the Wrong Thing

In today's world we make a big, big fuss over things that are not of much significance. We waste our time indulging in so many varieties of non-essential pursuits that do not benefit us either materially or spiritually. This wholesale madness is going on because we have based our civilization on a false conception of the self. We consider the blood, flesh, and bones, etc, which constitute the material body, to be the self. Nothing could be further from the truth. Do we consider our cars to be our selves? No, of course not. So why should we consider the car known as the material body to be the self and ignore the driver who is seated on the driver's seat of the heart? A driver who puts gasoline and oil in his car but neglects to feed his body will very soon die from starvation. This is the present situation of our spiritually starved so-called civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice

Response to the Ultimate Self Realization daily column criticizing pro-choice political leaders--

I understand that abortion is morally wrong since it is the killing of a human life. However, outlawing abortion also puts at risk the lives of girls and women. Before abortion was legalized, the number one cause of death for women of childbearing age was illegal abortions. Doctors, health workers, and law enforcement worked together so that abortions, for the women who do not agree with our viewpoint--be safe and legal.

In the United States, since leaders like George W. Bush have encouraged abstinence only education and have made it a policy to make abortion less legal (they weren't able to completely change the laws) the net effect has been more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions.

Under President Clinton, abortions decreased as comprehensive sex education was a policy.

I feel strongly that human life at all stages is sacred, but the life of a two-week embryo is not more sacred then the life of say, a fifteen year old girl with no resources to bear her child. Abortion was legalized to save her life and others like her. I agree that abortion can be abused (gender selection, for example), but objective studies show that the most effective way to prevent abortions is comprehensive sex education and access to birth control, as they have in most other industrialized countries--where the unwanted pregnancy rate and the abortion rate is far lower than the United States.

I know that the intention of conservative leaders is good, but my frustration with them and people who may support them, is their willful ignorance of facts supporting policies to decrease the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

With all respect for the sacredness of all life, and realistic social policies,

Cara Yoshizumi

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Answer: Pro-Krishna

Thank you very much for sharing your feelings with me. I agree that the life of a two week old embryo is not more sacred than the life a 15 year old girl. But we cannot rightfully argue that it is any less sacred. The fact is that both lives are equally sacred. In other words if we have the right to kill the two week old embryo, we also have the right to kill the 15 year old girl.

So what is the solution for this quagmire?

None of these mundane political leaders, whether they are pro-choice or pro-life, are qualified to solve this problem. Because sex is the most enjoyable thing in this material world, the only way that abstinence can be successful is if people are experiencing something more exciting and exhilarating than sex pleasure. Therefore the wide scale introduction of the Krishna consciousness movement is the real solution for the abortion problem. In this way when people experience the higher taste of Krishna consciousness they will naturally lose their taste for non-procreative sexual indulgence. The only time pregnancies will occur will be when there was an intention to conceive and raise a child. In such a situation there would never arise a need for an abortion. We could turn all of the abortion clinics into temples.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 24 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna World Mission

Our mission is to inundate the entire world with a tidal wave of pure Krishna bhakti. This is the purpose of our lives on this planet. We have accepted this mission from our beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta, and we are fully depending on the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna for whatever degree of success He is willing to grant us in the execution of this most important of all missions. It is intolerable for us to see the suffering condition of the 6.7 billion people on this planet. Therefore we must reach out to them and extend them Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy so that they also taste the transcendental happiness of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Guru God?

Dear Master:

First of all, I am happy to receive your daily thoughts. Thank you very much, and my most respectful salutations to you, to Srila Prabhupada and to all the true masters and to all the devotee friends.

My question is as follow: I followed Guru Maharaji, Prem Pal Sim Rawat as my guru for many years. He proclaimed himself to be the perfect master and he once said that if God was angry with you then you could take recourse from the guru, but if the guru was angry with you, then you had no place to go. Is this true?

Another day in a conference in San Pablo, he said, " You are here expecting to see an old man with a white beard (as God was pictured to be in the Middle Ages) but I am here instead."

I would like to know your opinion, please.

Many thanks.
I salute you with all my love,

Cristina.

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Answer: The So-Called G.O.D. is D.O.G.

A perfect master is known by his perfectly presenting the teachings of Krishna without any adulteration, not by his proclamations to be a perfect master.

It is not true that if the guru is angry with you that you have no recourse. The bona fide spiritual master is very, very kind upon his disciples. If your guru becomes angry with you all you have to do is approach him in all humility for the rectification of whatever it was that caused him to become angry. It is not difficult. Simply sincerity is required.

Kindly try to understand that any spiritual master who presents himself as God is a cheater and a rascal. He is not God, nor is he a bona fide spiritual master. By presenting himself as G.O.D. he has made himself into D.O.G. You should abandon such a so-called spiritual master and seek out the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. The bona fide spiritual master presents himself as the humble servant of God and teaches his disciples how to become humble servants of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 23 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Don't Cut Yourself Off from the Bliss

Sometimes those who are not solidly situated in Krishna consciousness think that the amazingly wonderful bliss experienced by its advanced practitioners is some kind of imaginative ecstasy, a subjective state of hyping oneself up to have a positive outlook on life. They do not realize that the ecstasy of Krishna consciousness is more solid than titanium. Because of their being blinded by their addiction to material sense gratification they are unable to comprehend that such a thing as genuine spiritual bliss exists. And just as the fox who could not reach the grapes labeled them as sour, they label the inconceivably sublime transcendental bliss of Krishna consciousness as mere illusion. Thus they cut themselves off from experiencing it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: You Preach Nonattachment, But Yet You Are Attached

Your are so connected with Krishna, but I was seeing that you were also very much worried and depressed due to health problem of Mataji (your wife) when she had a brain hemorrhage and came dangerously close to death. This shows that your are still in attachment, but yet you are giving lectures to others for non-attachment.

Regards,

Dr. N.

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Answer: Krishna Says That We Should Be the Devotee of His Devotee

My Dear Dr. N.,

Please accept my blessings.

I understand that you consider me to be a hypocrite because I preach that we should become free from all material attachments, and you have concluded that the compassion and concern I felt for Mataji during her recent health crisis is a sign of material attachment.

Regarding her recent crisis, I never once lost my composure and became overwhelmed by material attachment and depression. In fact this experience deepened my Krishna consciousness and established me even more solidly in the shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet.

To feel compassion and concern for a person who is in a suffering situation is not a sign of material attachment. In fact a Krishna conscious person always feels unhappy to see the sufferings of others. His compassion is not material attachment. It is rather a sign of his spiritual advancement. Especially in regards to Krishna's devotees we are always meant to give special loving care. In this regard Krishna explains to Arjuna in the Adi Purana:
ye me bhakta-janah partha
na me bhaktas ca te janah
mad-bhaktanam ca ye bhaktas
te me bhakta-tama matah

"The person who claims to be My devotee is not My devotee.
Rather it is the devotee of My devotee who is My actual devotee."

This means that according to Lord Sri Krishna Himself being devoted to Krishna's devotee is more important than being devoted directly to Krishna. In fact it is the only way to be accepted by Krishna as being His devotee. So in the light of Krishna's teachings you should reconsider whether someone's being devoted to taking good care of Krishna's devotee is a sign of material attachment or is one of the items of his being connected to Krishna.

I hope this meets you in the best of health and in an ecstatic mood.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 22 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Stay on the Path

When we are traveling out of the wilderness of material existence it is essential that we always carefully stay on the path chalked out by the great saintly teachers of the past because this is the path that will take us back to Godhead. If we veer off the path even slightly, in due course of time we will become lost and once again hopelessly entangled in the quagmire of material existence. The Vedic injunction is therefore given:

 mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

"Traverse the trail blazed by the previous
acharyas."

If we branch out trying to invent our own path, we will definitely become lost. Therefore we should always strictly follow the teachings of the great saintly teachers who have throughout the ages clearly described what is spirit, what is matter, and who is the controller of both. This and only this will bring to us lasting peace and happiness and enable us to enter into that wondrous spiritual sky situated far, far beyond the confines of time and space.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya?

What is the difference between between Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya?

Rajesh

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Answer: They Are One and the Same

There is no difference between Lord Caitanya and Lord Krishna because they are both the original Supreme Personality of Godhead from Whom emanates everything else in the total existence. When the Supreme Person is in the mood of being the Supreme Enjoyer, He is Krishna. And when He is in Radharani's mood of serving the Supreme Person, He is Lord Caitanya. Srila Prabhupada most wonderfully and perfectly describes Lord Caitanya in this way in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.33.4: "Sometimes the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself wonders how much transcendental pleasure is within Himself, and in order to taste His own potency, He sometimes takes the position of tasting Himself. Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself, but He appears as a devotee to taste the sweetness of the transcendental mellow in Himself which is tasted by Srimati Radharani, the greatest of all devotees."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 21 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Krishna Help Me

Have you ever had one of those days when the pressure was more than you could handle, but you were forced to cope with it anyway? What to do in such a situation? The first thing to understand is that every cloud has a silver lining, that such situations are a not a curse but are instead blessings in disguise. Such trying circumstances give us the opportunity to call out to Lord Krishna to help us remain in Krishna consciousness in spite of all the difficulties. They give us the chance to intensify our feelings of dependence on the Lord and advance ourselves further along the path of bhakti. So instead of being bewildered when the material energy becomes overwhelming, we simply have to beg for Krishna's special mercy. And then according to the degree of our feelings of dependence upon Him, He will mercifully reciprocate with us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can't I Get By Without Having a Living Guru?

I am very pleased to be Krishna conscious, but at the same time I am so confused with so many things. Please help and guide me so that I may become a good devotee of Krishna. I am asking all those questions because you are initiated by Srila Prabhupada, who is a pure devotee of Krishna, and I am his follower.

Why are there so many doubts that keep popping up in my mind saying that I need to have a living guru?

Prabhu, I am from Bangalore and I visit Mayapur for the annual Gaura Purnima festival and also Vrindavan for the annual Damodar festival. I have read Srila Prabhupada's book about his amazing achievements, and I am very impressed by his unalloyed devotional way to reach Krishna. But my sub-conscious is so much programmed to think that Srila Prabhupada is my both siksha (instructing) and diksha (initiating) guru.

Prabhu, my question is that if I do not have a living guru and just follow Srila Prabhupada's instructions (vani) is that not enough to become properly situated in Krishna consciousness? Is it mandatory to have living guru?

Regarding devotees who have Srila Prabhupada as their initiating guru, now that he is physically departed do they have to look for a living guru?

Which is important vapuh (physical presence) or vani (teachings)?

Regards

Manjunath R.

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Answer: If You Don't Need a Living Guru, Why are You Inquiring from Me?

The idea that keeps popping up in your mind that you need to have a living guru is a fact. This is exactly what Srila Prabhupada taught us. He taught us that we need to take our diksha (initiation) from a guru who is physically manifested on this planet. The guru must be present to acknowledge whether or not he accepts the candidate as his disciple. Unless the guru is physically present to confirm accepting someone as his disciple, we cannot ascribe to him that he has accepted a particular individual as his disciple. Only he has authority to accept someone as his disciple. No one else has the authority to do it on his behalf.

I am very happy to hear that you are Srila Prabhupada's follower. So now as a dutiful follower of His Divine Grace you should follow his instruction to become the initiated disciple of his disciple. Initiation from a disciple of Srila Prabhupada will solidly establish your relationship with Srila Prabhupada as a member of his disciplic succession.

Once you are initiated, if you will faithfully follow your spiritual master's orders you will remain always connected with him and Srila Prabhupada, even if both of them are departed. But you cannot begin a formal guru/disciple initiation relationship with a departed spiritual master. Such a posthumous initiation violates the Vedic principle of disciplic succession as taught to us by Srila Prabhupada.

In conclusion, both the guru's physical presence (vapuh) and his teachings (vani) are important. Of the two vani is more important because through vani one can eternally be associated with one's spiritual master by serving his orders. His vapuh or physical presence will only be available sometimes. While vapuh is necessary to begin the initiation contract, it is vani that sustains the disciples on an eternal ongoing basis. The spiritual master lives forever by his divine instructions and the disciple lives with him.

The fact that you are confused and are approaching a spiritual master who is physically present demonstrates the need for a living guru. If you don't need one, why are you approaching me?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 20 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

The Most Momentous Movie

I would not trade the Krishna conscious lifestyle for all the wealth of the entire universe. There is truly no more enlivening and exhilarating experience than fully dedicating one's life to the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Who is Krishna Himself mercifully appearing in the Kali Yuga for the deliverance of the fallen, conditioned souls. To dedicate one's every day and every moment in the service of Lord Caitanya and Lord Krishna is the sweetest happiness. You get to live on the vanguard, on the leading edge of the greatest cultural transformation in the history of the universe. Why struggle hard for wealth, fame, and power, which even if attained must soon be given up? Better to engage in the blissful struggle of subduing the rascal senses bringing them completely under control in the service of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna and thus becoming empowered to push forward Lord Caitanya's movement. Why waste time watching boring movies when you can instead play a key role in this most momentous "movie" of all times?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Real Guru?

Who can be considered to be a real guru? In the materialistic world, teachers are never perfect. Here teachers have been specialized in some subjects and trying to teach on the same. They are considered to be subject matter experts. I feel guru should practice before suggesting something to the student. For example, before the guru asks a student to stop smoking, the guru should not be a smoker. Am I right? So, in your view, whom can I consider as a guru?

Sanjay

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Answer: Krishna's Pure Devotee

You are right. It's a fact that one cannot be a guru unless he is an ideal example in all ways. Nowadays the word "guru" is being badly abused. Anyone and everyone is being called a guru simply because he has little bit of expertise in a particular field, even if he is not of ideal character. Such use of the word "guru" is bogus and unauthorized. The guru must be an acharya, one who teaches by example. Therefore before accepting someone as a guru you should first of all see whether or not he is a pure devotee of Krishna because such saintly persons are the only ones who are qualified to guide us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 19 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Taking Over the World for Krishna

In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that wherever there is Krishna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will certainly be victory, opulence, extraordinary power, and morality. So why not take advantage of this and try to take over the world for Krishna? Why should we allow the entire world to suffer ever-increasing anxiety when we have the supreme antidote for counteracting all the poisons of material existence? If we do not make a sincere effort to try to take over the world for Krishna, will this be an act of compassion? Or will it be an act of negligence? If someone is drowning should we try to save him? Or should we let him drown? If the entire world population is drowning, should we try to save them? Or should we let them drown?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can a Christian Practice Krishna Consciousness?

Can one be a Christian (a follower of Jesus Christ) study or practice Krishna Consciousness? Also, why the shaven heads? And what about the Indian names? Who gives those and how are they given?

I am apologize for sounding ignorant - but I guessed you would be the one to ask. You have been very kind and patient over the almost two years I have know of you.

Safe journey. Good health.
With great respect.

Buddy G.

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness is the Perfection of Christianity

It is so nice to hear from you. I am always happy to answer your sincere questions.

Yes, a Christian can practice Krishna consciousness. Indeed, Krishna consciousness is the perfection of Christianity.

Head shaving is for cleanliness, which is next to Godliness.

Sanskrit names are not Indian. Sanskrit is the language that is spoken in the spiritual world. The Sanskrit names are given by the spiritual master at the time of initiation to remind the new initiate of his or her eternal spiritual identity as a servant of Krishna or God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 18 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Baby Killers Are Not Qualified to Lead Us

It's actually unthinkable that we are living in the midst of a baby-killing civilization. But yet it is a fact. This is not human civilization. This is lower than animal civilization. Which animals do we see that kill their own offspring? When the foolish people of a nation choose leaders who support the killing of innocent children within the womb, it is a bleak day indeed for that nation. Such voters are not qualified to decide who should lead us, nor are those whom they elect qualified to lead us. The rascals who are foolishly accepted as leaders nowadays simply accelerate the further degradation of the quality of life on this planet. Therefore we need leaders of the caliber of Parikshit Maharaja, who gave all protection to everyone who took birth in his kingdom. Such Krishna conscious leaders can bring true and lasting peace and prosperity to this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Disprove Evolution Theory?

Hare Krishna

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

May I ask what are the top/best arguments one can argue/debate to disprove the evolution theory both to a lame man and a scientific man?

Thank you so much for your knowledge and mercy.

Haribol
Richard. P

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Answer: Life Comes from Life

The evolutionists ask us to put blind faith in the theory that life arises from dead matter. But everywhere we can scientifically observe that life comes from life. Nowhere can we confirm scientifically that life has ever arisen from dead matter. Therefore their theory of evolution is dogmatic. Since an intelligent man rejects dogmatic thinking, those who are actually thoughtful reject the theory of evolution as unscientific.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 17 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Mission Impossible

In fall of 1965 when I was a freshman at Austin College in Sherman, Texas I began searching to discover what was the purpose of my existence. And after many years of struggle it was in the spring of 1971 that my search finally bore fruit. I realized that my duty was to surrender myself fully to the will of God, to abandon my own desires and fully absorb myself 24 hours a day in fulfilling His desires. I was then quite perplexed to know what He wanted me to do, until I read in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna's instruction that I should surrender myself at the lotus feet of His representative, the bona fide spiritual master. I was indeed very fortunate at that time that the Supreme Lord sent me a bona fide spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I surrendered fully at his lotus feet giving my eternal existence to him. He then taught me the science of bhakti and gave me and his other disciples what could be deemed as an absolutely impossible mission, we are to deliver all the illusioned souls of this world back to the spiritual world.

How are we to carry out this unthinkable task? It is only by the mercy of our spiritual master that we can do anything. Therefore in full obedience to his order and begging for his blessings I fully surrender myself to this mission. I am begging the Supreme Lord Krishna that before I pass away from this body that I can see the success of this mission. Of course, such a global transformation seems unattainable and totally impractical. But I know that by the grace of the unlimited Supreme Lord even the impossible can become possible. Therefore bowing down at His lotus feet and begging for His mercy I am praying for the complete respiritualization of the entire human society as soon as possible. Please, Lord Krishna, let me see it happen during my lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Faith Do You Practice?

Just out of curiosity, what faith do you practice?

Thanks,

Charles

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Answer: We Have Faith in the Source of All Existence

Krishna consciousness is not a particular religious faith such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. It is the original pure essence of religion before man in his materialistic way of thinking divided it into this religious faith and that religious faith. It is the science of developing pure love for God. The principles of Krishna consciousness are universal and are thus equally applicable to all persons.

For example, by practicing Krishna consciousness a Christian will become a perfect Christian, a Jew will become a perfect Jew, a Hindu will become a perfect Hindu, and so on. Because it is the pathway of pure and perfect knowledge, through the practice of Krishna consciousness a philosopher will become a perfect philosopher and a scientist will become a perfect scientist. Indeed, because it is the perfection of existence, one who practices Krishna consciousness will become perfect in whatever he does. A poet will become a perfect poet, a government leader will become a perfect government leader, a husband will become a perfect husband, a businessman will become a perfect businessman, etc, etc.

Thus, if the entire world will take advantage of this Krishna consciousness process as being taught by the Krishna consciousness movement it will become transformed into paradise, heaven on earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 16 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Enemies are Natural

Because we are living in a materialistic atmosphere the person who has dedicated himself 100% for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world is bound to sooner or later attract enemies who are vehemently opposed to what he is doing. This is natural in a place where everyone is tinged with varying degrees of lust, greed, anger, illusion, madness, and envy. Such opposition does not dissuade or discourage the spiritual welfare worker. Rather it strengthens him in his resolve to push forward with his benevolent mission.

There are so many practical examples of such resistance. Jesus Christ was crucified because he was spreading the bhakti movement in Israel. Haridas Thakur was severely beaten in twenty-two market places for pushing forward Krishna consciousness in Bengal. The preacher of Krishna consciousness is not discouraged by such opposition. Rather he takes it as a positive sign that his preaching is potent, that it is having effect. Of course, by humble sweet dealings he does everything possible not to create enemies. Through love he tries to capture the hearts of all so that the entire world can benefit by advancing on the path of Krishna bhakti. But it is inevitable in a world based on desire and hate that he will face enemies who are opposed to him spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. This is something that naturally goes along with the job description of being a propagator of the highest truth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Ego?

Srila Prabhupada spoke of the false ego. Is there such a thing, then, as a true ego? If so, what is it? What are its symptoms? How can we recognize when we are "in it"--and not in the false ego? Thank you kindly.

Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: Ego Means Identity

Ego means identity. False ego is when we think, "I am this body. I am the center of the universe."

Real ego is when we think, "I am not this body. I am instead a spirit-soul, the eternal servant of Krishna or God."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 15 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Cutting Through the Madness

If we want this world to be a better place we have to cut through the madness by speaking the truth. We have to tell the truth exactly as it is without glossing it over. Instead of striving for so-called political correctness, we should instead strive to simply be correct. If something is true, it should be acknowledged and propagated. It's time we expose all the lying and cheating that is going on in the world and give everyone the opportunity to live an enlightened life full of knowledge and bliss by reconnecting them with the real truths of existence.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Islam and Krishna Consciousness

Dear Gurudeva,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I know you have said that people of all religions can practice Krishna Consciousness but I have a question regarding Islam. In Islam it is acknowledged there is no other God worthy of worship but Allah, that He has no partners and no human form. If Allah has no human form as taught in Islam, how can Muslims be faithful and worship appearances such as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Krishna? I like chanting Hare Krishna but cannot at same time act contrary to my religion as that would be a great sin.

Thank you,

David

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Answer: Steppingstone to the Personal Conception

Just as the Vedas describe the Supreme Absolute Truth both as with form and without form, so does the Koran. These descriptions of a formless Absolute are there to help free us from seeing the Absolute as possessing a material form so that we can come to the platform of understanding the Absolute as possessing a transcendental form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 14 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Chief Minister Criticizes Tilaka

M. Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of India's Tamil Nadu state, has recently criticized the practice of wearing tilaka:

"What is the need for these things in a country that has accepted all religions and preached equality of the same?"

Here is our response to the esteemed Chief Minister:

"If your country has accepted religion why are you rejecting the practices of religion such as the wearing of tilaka? This is hypocritical. If you have accepted religion, why then do you reject the practices of religion? This is illogical and nonsensical. Accepting religion means to also accept the practice of religion. Otherwise you are not accepting religion at all. You are simply engaged in political double talk."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Krishna With Tilaka

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Chanting on Beads Required?

I have heard that by chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra 16 rounds of 108 mahamantras each everyday one is sure to go back to the spiritual world. If one finds that it is not always possible to chant with the beads but still chants the same number of times everyday without the beads, will he also go back to the spiritual world? Or it is necessary to complete 16 times 108 on the beads only?

Yours Devotedly,

Avinash.G.f

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Answer: Yes, and It Must Be Pure Also

Chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day is not a guarantee that one will go back to Godhead in this lifetime. It is the quality of the chanting that determines whether or not one is qualified to enter the spiritual world at the time of passing from his present body. If one has advanced to the point of offenseless chanting, his perfection is assured. And if one is still holding onto material desires, he will take birth again in this material world to fulfill those desires.

Pure offenseless chanting requires that we obey the orders of the spiritual master. Since Srila Prabhupada has ordered us to chant on the beads, our attaining of spiritual perfection does depend on obeying his instruction to chant on the beads at least 16 rounds daily.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 13 November 2008

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

The Supreme Welfare Work

The Lord's devotees are always compassionate upon all living beings because they desire that everyone should be happy by being completely absorbed in Krishna consciousness. The devotees tolerate all varieties of personal inconveniences for the sake of giving others the opportunity to experience this perfection of existence. Because their happiness is making others happy, and because there is an unlimited supply of people who are needing real and lasting happiness, the devotees derive the greatest satisfaction by engaging in the supreme welfare work of giving Krishna consciousness to others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Were We Merged into Krishna

You have said that Krishna is eternally emanating souls from Himself. Were we not one with God at that point? Why should we not endeavor to regain that state and enter again into Him? And after this emanation of the soul from Krishna does the soul go to Goloka Vrindavan or to the material world?

Thank you very much for your assistance with these questions.

Thank you,

Bethany

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Answer: We Are Eternally Individuals

Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that there was never a time, nor will there ever be a time, when we are merged into Him without individuality. We have always been individuals, and we will always remain as individuals forever. We have a choice of either being in harmony with Him or in disharmony with Him. In either state we remain as individuals. Spiritual perfection is to be in harmony with Him, and the fallen condition material existence is to be in a state of disharmony with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 12 November 2008

from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
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Today's Thought:

Out to Save the World

Those who have become advanced in spiritual understanding by realizing and fully absorbing themselves in a state of perfect harmony with the Supreme Absolute Truth, cannot tolerate seeing a world society that is so deeply plunged into chaos and illusion. They deeply and intensely feel compassion for the 99.99% of the world population that is caught up in such a miserable existence. Even though so many people think they are enjoying life, their happiness is imaginary. It is not real because soon their bubble of false happiness will pop and their accumulated karma from heaps of impious activities will cast them into an ocean of devastating anxiety. Therefore those who have realized the underlying reality of this phenomenon that we call existence fully dedicate their lives for saving the suffering souls of this world from their gross illusion and its concomitant threefold miseries. They are out to save the world. This is the purpose of their lives. Whether they are successful or not, their perfection is guaranteed. And anyone who follows them will also become perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Revitalize and Rejuvenate in Beautiful Govinda Valley, Australia--19-21 December


Aerial View of Govinda Valley Retreat Center


Official registration has begun. Space is limited.
Register as soon as possible to make sure you can be a part
of this uplifting spiritually energizing event!


For registration information go to the following:

www.backtohome.com/govinda-valley-2008.html



Blissful Participants from Last Year's Retreat


 Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Get Reactions If We Are Not the Doers?

With reference to Bhagavad-gita 3.27:

"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature. "

It is said that we are not the doer of activities. Then why do we have to suffer the reaction of our activities?

Abhinav

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Answer: You Are Responsible for Surrendering to Maya

Thank you very much for your nice question. It is a fact as you have quoted from the Bhagavad-gita that the spirit-soul who is bewildered by the influence of the modes of nature considers himself to the doer of activities that are in actuality being carried out by material nature. You are wondering why we have to suffer the reactions of activities of which we are not the doer.

The answer is that even though the conditioned soul is not the doer of his activities in this material world, it was his conscious choice that placed him under the influence of the material energy. It is this conscious choice that makes him responsible. In other words, we choose whether we would like to be under the spiritual energy or the material energy, and then we reap the results of that choice by either going back to Godhead or remaining in the cycle of birth and death taking the reactions for everything that transpires as a result of our surrender to the material energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 11 November 2008

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

In 100% Compliance

An intelligent businessman manages his business in such a way that he is in 100% compliance with the laws of the state. While he may in the short run derive more profit by cheating on various laws, by operating illegally he always runs the risk of being caught and suffering a devastating and crippling loss to his business. In other words, although by operating his business illegally he may in the short run make more money, in the long run he will be more profitable by operating in 100% compliance with the state laws.

So you may be wondering what this has to do with the science of self-realization. The answer is that this is a highly relevant analogy. While in the short run we may derive more pleasure out of life by violating the laws of God, in the long run we will experience a far, far superior existence by living in 100% compliance with the laws of God. In other words, I may derive some quick cheap sensual thrills by illicit sexual indulgence, intoxication, meat eating, or gambling, but when my karma comes crashing down on my head I will be anything but happy when I am cast down into the lower species by the stringent laws of nature. But if I will take all help from the bona fide spiritual master and the authorized scriptures I can live a highly profitable satisfying existence in the constant association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, the source of all existence. This is the goal of all those persons who are actually intelligent.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the True God?

The whole universe and all that is in it is being created by one Supreme Power -God. That would mean all human beings are also created by God. Why do humans have different beliefs? Christians declare the Bible as truth and worship one creator in trinity forms. Hindus declare so many Gods & demigods (all creations of God). Muslims say Allah, Asians Buddha and so on. What do you think is the truth? Who is the true God? And why are human beings running after religion rather than God?

Kind Regards,

Raja

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Answer: There is No Question of Which God

Because God is one, religion must also be one. It cannot be two, three, four, five, six, seven, etc. as we now see it manifested on the planet. The idea of a multiplicity of religions is bogus. It means that they do not understand religion. Religion is one, to become a pure lover of God. Since God is unlimited He also has unlimited names such as Krishna, Allah, Jehovah, etc.

Anyone that claims that God has only one name is limiting God. In other words they are trying to play God themselves. So it is high time that we stop trying to play God by trying to limit Him to one name.

We must understand that anyone who sincerely approaches God with humble loving devotion is a first-class devotee. It does not matter whether they address the Supreme Person as Krishna, Narayana, Rama, Jehovah, or Allah. What matters is that we must see that they have become saintly in character. A truly religious person would not maintain his body by the slaughter of innocent animals, nor would he condone the murder of babies within the womb. Saintly behavior is the determining factor regarding who is actually religious and who is not, not what sect they belong to. Religion cannot be divided into sects. There are no sects in the spiritual world. Everyone there is simply a lover of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 10 November 2008

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Why Wear Tilaka?

At a home preaching program here in Riga, Latvia a man from the audience wanted to know what are the meanings of the twelve tilaka markings which Vaisnavas decorate their bodies with. He said he had been trying to find the answer to this question for the last seven years. It was then that I noticed that he was not wearing tilaka.

Sometimes we may think that we need to get all the detailed answers regarding the science of bhakti before we start practicing it. But this attitude will slow down our progress. The serious practitioner of the self-realization science simply faithfully follows the orders of Krishna and his spiritual master, and by his faith in their instructions he becomes highly realized in all the conclusions of the Vedic scriptures. He joyfully wears tilaka because it helps him and others who see him to be reminded of Krishna. He feels connected with the supreme source of all existence by applying tilaka, especially the tilaka on his forehead. He pleases his spiritual master by wearing tilaka, and by pleasing his spiritual master he makes rapid progress on the path of bhakti. Krishna personally manifests Himself in the twelve markings of tilaka applied on the devotee's body. So it is a great purification and protection for the devotee to mark his body with tilaka in the twelve places.

And, by the way, in answer to the man's question, the twelve tilaka markings are named according to the months of the year as mentioned in the Vaisnava almanac. Wearing the twelve markings of tilaka means that the devotee will be blessed with Krishna consciousness throughout the entire year. Here's the breakdown taken from chapter seven of Srila Prabhupada's book "Teachings of Lord Caitanya":

1. Kesava--November
2. Narayana--December
3. Madhava--January
4. Govinda--February
5. Vishnu--March
6. Madhusudana--April
7. Trivikrama--May
8. Vamana--June
9. Sridhara--July
10. Hrsikesa--August
11. Padmanabha--September
12. Damodar--October

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Did God Come into Existence?

You have beautifully put forward that God is the source of all existence in your reply to a query. It may sound very silly, but the question that arises in my head is, "How did God come into existence?"

Everything has to have a source? If it exists, it has to have a beginning. Also, if it has an end, there has to be something beyond it. If the universe is created by God, and it exists, then there has to be something beyond it.

Your reader

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Answer: He is Eternally Self-Manifested

You have asked how God came into existence. Since there was no time that God did not exist, there is no question of how God came into existence. He is eternally existing, manifesting Himself from Himself, fulfilling His desire to enjoy. Because God means the cause of all causes, if there was a cause of existence other than Himself, that cause would be God, not Him. Therefore God by definition cannot have a cause other than Himself.

Since existence is going on eternally it does not have a beginning or an end. Something which has either a beginning or an end is not eternal.

There is no end to the existence of God and of the unlimited living beings that He is manifesting from Himself for the purpose of enjoying a loving relationship with them.

Because there is an unlimited expanse of universes within this material world, this particular universe in which we are situated is compared to a mustard seed in a bag of mustard seeds. Beyond our particular universe there are millions and billions of universes which constitute this material world. And beyond this material world, which is the ╝ portion of the spiritual world, there is the vast unlimited spiritual sky. If you will surrender to Krishna, you will enter into that transcendental kingdom upon your departure from your present material body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 9 November 2008

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Subduing the Senses

At the present moment we are the slaves of our senses. When our senses dictate, "Give me this or give me that", we dutifully accommodate them. What we fail to realize is that the senses are not us and that satisfying them therefore does not satisfy us. If we want actual happiness, we should limit the senses to what they actually need not giving them everything for which they feel greed. In this way we can channel the major portion of our serving propensity towards the Supreme Person, the source of all existence. When we water the root of a tree,  all the leaves and branches become nourished. Similarly when we serve the Original Person we become fully satisfied and we give full satisfaction to all living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Feedback Request: Merging with Brahman

One who has achieved the highest level of conscious realization is said to realize and become one with Brahman. At this point, all individuality as we know it disappears. The individual jiva soul or atma returns to its source from which it will not return of its own volition.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Sanjay Krishna Panda

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Answer: This is Incorrect

Kindly note that this is incorrect. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita the eternal individuality of all living beings even after liberation. If the ultimate goal of every living being were to merge into God and lose his individual existence, there would be no reason for him to exist in the first place. Therefore this merging-into-Brahman philosophy is imperfect and useless. The actual fact is that the living beings are the eternal emanations of the Supreme Person. He emanates them from Himself for the purpose of enjoying an eternal loving relationship with each and every one of them.

Of course there is state of oneness, a state of perfect harmony which is realized on the perfectional stage. But it is not that in this state of oneness that one loses his individual. Rather it is a state in which one becomes perfectly in harmony with God and resonates beautifully and wonderfully in full agreement with Him and loving service to Him at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 8 November 2008

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Rascal Child-Killing Civilization


How many animal species do you know that kill their own children? To kill one's own child is a highly barbaric act which places one on a level lower than animals. And it is this caliber of human beings who are being now glorified and accepted as the leaders of the present day human society. This is an indication of how bleak the world situation has now become. We cannot expect any good to come out of society which engages in the wholesale slaughter of its own children. The carefully contrived euphemisms of child-murdering societies such as "reproductive rights" will not save them at the time of death. They will be forced by their karma to be murdered in one mother's womb after another again and again and will not see the light of day for many lifetimes. Societies which engage in such grossly sinful acts will experience heavy karmic reactions in the form of such things as terrorism, crime, brutal wars, drought, floods, hurricanes, epidemics, famine, and economic collapse. We are offering the world a positive and complete solution and hoping that by Krishna's grace they will take it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: There Is No God

Kindly stop all this drama of God. He is nowhere. I am now realizing that there is no God. This all is a kind of business made up by fake gurus. Kindly stop making a fool of the people. Let the people live nice lives. Don't scare them by telling them that if you do good karma the reward will be accordingly be given. Religion and fake stories of God make people superstitious and cowardly.

Let them be free from all these made up stories about Krishna because there is no God and no such thing as karma. You should only live and let others live peaceful lives. If you will not reply to my mail, that means that you are a hypocrite and my enlightenment about God is right.

Sangita Marwah

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Answer: It's Time for You to Open Your Eyes

You are like the owl who keeps his eyes closed and declares that there is no sun. It's time for you to open your eyes.

God means the source of all existence. Your argument that there is no God is baseless and illogical because nowhere do we have an experience of something that comes out of nothing. Do you have any experience of something coming out of nothing? No, you do not. If you examine any object, you will see that it comes from something and that the something from which it comes also comes from something. So if you trace back, back, back to that something which does not come from something, you have arrived at the original something, the source of all existence or God.

Your ranting and raving that there is no God is mere foolishness. God has given you the free will to accept Him or deny Him. So if you choose to deny Him, it is by His grace that you are allowed to do.

You are also denying the existence of the law of karma, but yet you are still being forced by the stringent laws of nature to accept the pious and impious reactions for all of your activities. You may stick your head in the sand like an ostrich trying to deny the existence of God and karma, but when the predator of death comes to kill you, you will be powerless to protect yourself. Those who have taken shelter of the Lord are delivered from the clutches of death into that abode where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

If you prefer temporality, illusion, and misery over eternity, knowledge, and bliss, that is your prerogative. But those who have awakened their dormant God consciousness prefer living in a higher class neighborhood in the association of the Supreme Person and great liberated souls, His eternal associates.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 7 November 2008

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Same Old Wine in a New Bottle


Many people in the USA are celebrating what is being heralded as the beginning of new era because for the first time in the history of the USA a black man was elected to become president of the United States. However, those who are spiritually enlightened, the knowers of Vedic wisdom, are not feeling the same excitement because they understand that significant change will not come to the world until we have leaders who are qualified to deliver their followers from the cycle of birth and death. In fact the Srimad Bhagavatam states that unless someone is qualified to deliver their dependents from birth and death they should not take the post of leader.

So what does this mean for the present slate of presidents, prime ministers, and other leaders all over the world? It means that unless they are willing to qualify themselves to be bona fide leaders they should resign from their posts making room for the leadership of those who are qualified to give proper guidance to the people through their actions and through their words.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: You Should Not Criticize


I believe that if one starts to make fun of others' opinions, he will eventually be the next to be made fun of. One does not need to try hard to find "funny" aspects in your teachings as well... which I respectfully accept that numbers of people have faith in them.

I also believe that any kind of living entity deserves the same kind of respect. Looking at the daily newspapers I often find that the other species are more respectful than human beings!!

I disappointedly find your expressions on Charles Darwin and his theory far from being suitable to a "bona fide guru". I was sincerely hoping that my "guru" was humble, embracing, tolerant, compassionate and willing to reach out to anyone-anyone with any belief- without prejudice....

Idem

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Answer: That Was a Criticism

Thank you very much for your willingness to honestly reveal your heart to me. Now I will honestly reveal my heart to you. If you can say that someone's words are not suitable, I can also say that someone's words are not suitable. Or is it that you enjoy some special privilege to point out unsuitability and I do not?

You have correctly pointed out the qualities of a bona fide spiritual master. But you have failed to understand the inner meaning of those qualities. Sometimes compassion manifests in words that are unpleasant to hear. For example, a doctor may have to give someone the bad news that he has cancer. Is he being uncompassionate by giving his patient the bad news? Or is he acting compassionately for the best interest of his patient? Similarly, the spiritual master has a duty to speak the truth even if it is unpleasant to hear. If doctors did not speak the truth, the world would be a much unhealthier place, and if gurus did not speak the truth, the world would be a much more ignorant and thus more miserable place. So kindly to understand what is the duty of a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Thursday 6 November 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Sacred Cow

My last public lecture in Lithuania was on the evening of 4 November 2008 in the city of Elektrenai. I was very happy to see that the city's cultural center was filled up with people eager to hear our message. At the end of my lectures I always allow time for questions and answers. During that evening's question and answer session one nice lady who had been to India asked why is it that in India the cow is considered sacred. I explained to her that because our mother nurtures us with her breast milk she is very dear to us. And who is it that gives us her breast milk after our mother stops giving us her breast milk? That second mother is the cow. So just as the first mother is dear, our second mother, the cow, is very dear to us and is thus given all love and protection throughout her entire life. To this very day those in India who are strictly following Hindu culture treat the cows with the highest respect just as any gentleman would treat his mother.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Elektrenai Cultural Center Public Lecture



Presenting Srila Prabhupada's Books



Audience Floods the Book Table



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: First Life Forms Were the Size of Bacteria?

I was puzzled by your 4 November 2008 "Thought for the Day" entitled "Charles Darwin and the Monkeys". Could you please explain to me whether you agree or disagree with the statement that many million years ago the first life forms to appear were the size of bacteria and such a huge variety of living beings developed only gradually? Or do you rather think that all varieties of material forms were created in one go? Maybe you could tell me in which scriptures should I look for reference upon the matter, are there any in Bhagavad-gita?

Your reader

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Answer: No. Highly Developed Super Humans

Thank you very much for you sincere inquiry.

Your statement that many million years ago the first life forms were the size of bacteria and such a huge variety of living beings developed only gradually is incorrect. We have authoritative information from the Vedic literatures confirming that the first life form in this universe was Lord Brahma, a highly powerful and intelligent being who was then empowered to create the 8,400,000 different species.

The first four sons of Brahma are known as the four Kumaras. They are described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:


sa eva prathamam devah
kaumaram sargam asritah
cacara duscaram brahma
brahmacaryam akhanditam


"First of all, in the beginning of creation, there were the four unmarried sons of Brahma [the Kumaras], who, being situated in a vow of celibacy, underwent severe austerities for realization of the Absolute Truth."
---SB 1.3.6

Neither Brahma nor his first offspring, the four Kumaras, were the size of bacteria. They were fully developed, highly intelligent beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 5 November 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

How to Realize the Highest Enlightenment


Recently one of my students wrote me expressing his confusion over how it could be possible to live in a state of consciousness completely free from all anxiety. Because we are experiencing every day an unending stream of multi-varieties of anxieties we may naturally be doubtful about becoming 100% anxiety-free. But actually such a state does exist. If it did not exist, how could we hanker for it? Could we hanker for water if water did not exist? No. By nature's way we hanker for things which exist. Therefore our hankering for an anxiety-free state of consciousness proves that such a state does exist.

Now we simply have to find out how to attain it. This not difficult. All we have to do is find someone who has already achieved it and ask him how we can too. Such a person can easily be found provided we are unflinchingly determined to realize this perfection of consciousness, because if our desire is strong, the Lord within our hearts will manifest externally in the form of the bona fide spiritual master to expertly and compassionately guide us how to fully realize this highest state of enlightenment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Enjoy this World?


Hare Krishna!

I have a question regarding the material world. I have often read that we must give up the material mode of thinking and focus on Krishna so we can go home. I also understand that this world is a result of Krishna being so merciful that He granted our wish to be separate and experience sense gratification. I have seen several articles and had discussions with people who say that since Krishna created this material world it would be offensive to not enjoy some of the gifts He provided. This leaves me confused. Do we need to shut off the world or can we enjoy the world as Krishna's gift and still make progress?

Your servant,

Steve

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Answer: Yes, By Engaging It for Krishna's Enjoyment

Whoever said that since Krishna created this material world it would be offensive not to enjoy some of the gifts He provided is like the serpent who induced Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. Since this world is the property of Krishna it is ALL meant to be engaged in His service. If we try to enjoy it independently, we are thieves and are subject to being punished by the stringent laws of material nature. But if we engage it fully for Krishna's enjoyment, we will experience the same unlimited enjoyment that He experiences. In other words if we try to be the primary enjoyers, we will suffer, but when we agree to be the secondary enjoyers, we will enjoy on an equal level with Krishna, the primary enjoyer.

If the hand tries to enjoy the food separately by mashing it within its fingers, it will gain no nourishment from the the food. But when it offers that same food to the stomach, the stomach will be happy and the hand will also be happy because it will get the nourishment it needs.

This is the topmost secret, and is only understood by Krishna's devotees. Any person who understands this reality will engage himself fully in the service of Lord and taste unlimited happiness. Those who try to enjoy this world separately will sometimes falsely think that they are happy, but will in the final conclusion feel unfulfilled and unhappy with their lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 4 November 2008

from Sovetsk, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Charles Darwin and the Monkeys

The inconceivably vast population of this material world is situated in 8,400,000 varieties of material forms. There are 900,000 types of aquatics, 2,000,000 kinds of trees and plants, 1,100,000 breeds of worms and reptiles, 1,000,000 classes of birds, 3,000,000 species of beasts and 400,000 different types of human beings. These 8,400,000 different types of forms have not evolved one from the other as foolishly proposed by Charles Darwin. They were all created at the very beginning of the universe by Lord Brahma, the engineer of the universe. So the real meaning of evolution is the gradual transmigration of the living being from lower forms to higher forms through the process known as transmigration of the soul. It is not a process of one species evolving into another species.

So the concept of evolution does not originate with Charles Darwin. He simply presented a concocted, distorted version of the original concept which is taught in the Vedas. According to the speculation of Mr. Darwin, he comes from a monkey-like ancestor. Considering the baselessness of his theory we may be inclined to agree with him and group him with the monkeys. But we know factually from the greatest scientists who have thousands of years ago perfectly unlocked all the secrets of the universe, that we come from the most highly intelligent and powerful living being in the entire universe, Lord Brahma, who was empowered by Lord Krishna to perform the task of creating the 8,400,000 species.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sweet Russian Farewell Kirtan
3 November 2008

Video of the Above Kirtan:
http://www.backtohome.com/video/Sweet-Russian-farewell.wmv


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Must a Spiritual Master Be a Vaisnava?

Does a spiritual master need to be a Vaisnava devotee? Some Christians I know have what they call a spiritual director. Is this a righteous equivalent of a guru? Thank you once again for your kind service to the Creator's creation.

Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: How Can He Not Be a Vaisnava?

"Vaisnava" is not a sectarian designation. It means means someone who is devoted to the Supreme Person in any one of His multifarious forms. So any bona fide spiritual director or guru must necessarily be a Vaisnava. If someone is not devoted to the Supreme Person how can they be fit to be a bona fide guru or spiritual director? It is not possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 3 November 2008

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Subdue the Demon Within

Although every living being in his original state of being is a pure devotee of the Supreme Lord, all of the living entities in this material world are covered by varying degrees of demoniac consciousness. After millions of lifetimes of wandering within the cycle of birth and death, a fortunate living being who comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master becomes inspired to free himself of the demoniac consciousness by the revival of his original divine consciousness. When he begins the path of spiritual awakening he must battle against the demon within that does not want him to take up Krishna consciousness. In order to be successful on the path of spiritual awakening he must curb and completely subdue this demon within, so his original pure saintly consciousness can become fully manifested. This is why Srila Prabhupada explains that taking up Krishna consciousness means to declare war against maya.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 


Initiation Ceremony in Russia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Finish My Ego?

What is ego? How can it be described? Does ego exist in spiritual world too? If yes, then how does it differ from ego in material world? Even after trying hard by chanting the holy names, serving Vaishnavas, and reading scriptures still I get feelings like jealousy in my heart. I feel very guilty about this. What should I do? Is it possible to give up ego completely? How can I finish my ego? Kindly help this fallen soul.

Your servant,

Gunjan

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Answer: Don't Finish It. Transform It.

Ego means identity. There are two types of egos: spiritual and material. Spiritual ego or real ego means to understand that you are the eternal servant of Krishna.

Material ego or false ego means to improperly think that you are your material body and that you are the center of existence. It is in this false ego that the six enemies of lust, greed, anger, madness, illusion, and envy become manifested. In the real ego these six enemies are not present.

The solution lies not in getting rid of your ego, which is technically impossible. Rather the solution is found in activating your real ego. Just as when the sun rises in the morning all the darkness is immediately dissipated, when you fully activate your real ego of devotion to Krishna all the inauspicious false ego disqualifications are immediately destroyed.

To activate our real ego we need to fully absorb ourselves in Krishna consciousness 24 hours daily under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, the pure devotees, and the revealed scriptures. I see that you are already serving the Vaishnavas and studying the scriptures. This it very nice. But I also see that you have not yet taken shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. This is your difficulty. This is the missing ingredient in your fully conquering over your false ego.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 2 November 2008

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Beyond the Multitudinous Sufferings

Although my flu has gone from bad to worse and I am extremely ill, I am very enlivened to be back here in Russia with these wonderful devotees. This is one of those things that I love so much about Krishna consciousness. It does not matter what the circumstances are on the material plane. If you dive wholeheartedly into the mood of pure devotional service, immediately you experience great transcendental happiness. This is the rare state of consciousness that nobody in the material world has. The happiness or lack of happiness of the materialists is always based on the material circumstances. Therefore they are guaranteed in the final analysis to become frustrated and disappointed with their lives. But a devotee is situated on the transcendental plane far, far beyond the multitudinous sufferings of this world of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Tilaka and Neck Beads


How important is applying tilaka (clay markings which decorate the body as a temple of God) and kanti-mala (neck beads)? Is it compulsory that whoever is chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra must wear kanti-mala and apply tilaka all the time, or can we do this only at the time of puja and attending temple functions? Please advise.

Your servant,

Rekha

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Answer: Should Always Be Worn

Because they are both very conducive for our Krishna consciousness, kanti-mala should always be worn, and tilaka should also always be worn. In his book, the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada describes that persons who wear neck beads and tilaka are understood as devotees of the Supreme Lord and their presence makes the world purified so much so that anywhere they remain that place becomes as good as the spiritual world.

If there is difficulty wearing tilaka at one's job, he may apply water tilaka instead. But other than that a Vaisnava should always be seen wearing tilak and kanti-mala. Many years ago when I was working a job I was not wearing clay tilaka. But knowing how important tilaka is, one day I decided to wear it to work. That day I was so successful in executing my duties as a salesman that my manager told me, "I don't know what that is on your forehead, but you must wear it every day." So from then on I happily wore tilaka to work every day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 1 November 2008

from the road to Russia
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Today's Thought:

Why Do You Exist?

Do you know why you exist? If you don't, you are completely missing out. It makes no sense for a human being to go through his life without knowing why he exists. Such an unenlightened life is not a human life at all. Indeed, it is an animal existence. It is said that man is rational animal. So what is that rationality that sets him apart from the other animals? That rationality is to learn why he exists. As soon as he has discovered why he exists his doorway to an eternal life full of bliss and knowledge becomes opened wide. He no longer lives a glum, hum drum, anxiety-ridden existence. He enters into a dimension of ever-increasing exhilaration.

So how does one find out why he exists? He has to find a bona fide spiritual master, a person who has realized the highest truth and become his student. And then under the spiritual master's expert guidance gradually he will realize everything. This is described as follows by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

jnanena tu tad ajnanam
yesham nasitam atmanah
tesham aditya-vaj jnanam
prakasayati tat param

"When one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed,
then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime."

--Bhagavad-gita 5.16

It's as simple as that.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Blissful Russian Devotees


 


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Not Address God In Lithuanian?

If "Krishna" in Lithuanian simply means "God", why can't we just call Him like that? Do you consider Sanskrit superior to Lithuanian language? Because if you don't, then why shouldn't mantras be translated and sung translated in our own language?

Where does the magic of mantras lie: in the precise combination of vowels and consonants or the inner state that you are in while singing them?

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Answer: Special Mercy by Addressing Him in His Native Tongue

I am here visiting your wonderful country of Lithuania where I am meeting many nice people such as you. I am very happy that you have taken the time and trouble to write me. You must have attended one of my lectures. The friendly people here are what makes your country so special to me. Regarding your question I request that you kindly consider the following points:

Here in Lithuania I have a student named Raimondas. In English his name is pronounced as Raymond. So I could call him Raymond. But since in his native tongue it is pronounced Raimondas it is more polite and pleasing to him if I call him Raimondas.

So in the same way, the native tongue of the Supreme Person is Sanskrit and it is more polite and pleasing to Him if I pronounce His name as it is pronounced in His mother tongue. Of course, since the Supreme Person is all knowing He is multilingual. He perfectly understands all languages. So I could call Him "God" and He would understand me perfectly. But since His intimate friends and family members in His eternal abode address Him as "Krishna", it is especially pleasing to Him if I address Him such. Of course, it is not required. Everyone can address God in the way that He is called in their native tongue. But those who are very eager to get the special favor of the Lord take advantage of the insider's secret of calling out to Him in the way he is addressed in His home, which is known as Goloka Vrindavan.

The technicalities of precisely uttering each and every syllable of the Sanskrit mantras was of the topmost importance in the previous ages when the brahmanas (priests) were highly proficient in the uttering the mantras with absolute precision. However in the present age of Kali there are no longer any such qualified brahmanas. So by the Lord's special mercy in this age sincerity is the only qualification. In this age the highest power in the mantras comes with uttering them in mood of loving service to the Supreme Person. In other words if we chant the Hare Krishna mantra in a mood of begging Krishna to engage us in His pure devotional service, we will quickly attain the perfectional stage of chanting, pure love of God, in which the Lord becomes personally present before us. This is the perfection of magic, when we meet the Supreme Magician face to face, eye to eye.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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